“The World is Closer Here”: The Capital Comes to The Holy Hill
Although the U.S. Capitol building remains closed to visitors during the pandemic, the proximity of EHS to Washington, D.C., enabled Joe Eldred’s Advanced U.S. Government class to bring the Capitol to EHS last week in the form of in-person guest speaker David Fite P’23, who held a conversation with the students as part of their U.S. Foreign Policy module. Fite offered invaluable assistance as the students continue their work on the capstone project for this module, in which each student has selected a current U.S. foreign policy issue to research and subsequently present their recommendations to a mock National Security Council.
Since July 2013, Fite has served as a senior professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where his responsibilities include oversight of U.S. security assistance, arms export licensing, authorization for use of military force (AUMF) legislation, counterterrorism, embassy security, and intelligence matters before the Committee. Previously, Fite served fourteen years on the House Committee on Foreign Relations for similar matters, also including arms control and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles.
Discussing with the students vital real-world foreign policy issues from over the course of his impressive career, Fite brought to life crucial topics including the interplay (including checks and balances) between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch under the Constitution vis-à-vis foreign policy; the role of Professional Staff Members on the Foreign Relations Committee; and the many exciting opportunities available for young people interested in serving on the Hill.
Afterwards, students expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be part of this discussion. From Sydney Hopkins ’23: “I have always had an interest in working within the government and Mr. Fite's presentation solidified this future career path for me. I also appreciated his insight about the complexities of the job and hearing his passion about the work he does to change lives.”